Birmingham’s Jack Butland wants to challenge Joe Hart for England spot

Birmingham City goalkeeper Jack Butland says he wants to challenge Joe Hart for England's number one spot

joe hart
Joe Hart has pulled out of the squad for Wednesday's friendly with a back injury Football.ua, via Wikimedia

joe hart

Jack Butland has vowed to challenge for Joe Hart’s England spot after the Manchester City goalkeeper pulled out of Roy Hodgson’s squad with a back injury.

The Birmingham City shot-stopper was a mainstay of Stuart Pearce’s Team GB squad which reached the quarter-finals of London before losing to South Korea on penalties.

The 19-year-old is relishing his chance to make the step up to the England first-team, with the Three Lions set to take on Italy in a friendly at Wembley on Wednesday.

“Joe’s a fantastic keeper and I want to challenge him as soon as I can,” said Butland. “Being No1 for England is something I’ve always dreamed of doing but Joe is in there at the moment and only one can play.

“So my target for the coming years is to be the biggest challenge I possibly can and stay in this squad for as long as possible, because this is where I want to be.

“He knows eventually there will be competition whether that’s from me or someone else.

“He’s not the only goalkeeper in England and for me it’s the target to test him at first and make him a little bit worried, but eventually to try and take his place.

“I’m good friends with Joe but when it comes down to it, only one person can wear the shirt and hopefully I’ll get that chance.”

Butland and Norwich City’s John Ruddy are the only goalkeepers left in Hodgson’s squad following Hart’s withdrawal, and the Birmingham man is hoping to leave the England manager with a selection headache for the start of their qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup.

“Injuries happen, things change, people move clubs,” Butland said. “Anything can happen.

“I’m going to make it as difficult as I can for the manager to pick a keeper. That’s all I can do. That’s what I’ll set out to do, get games under my belt, keep impressing and hopefully get an opportunity.”

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